Scientists at Johnson Matthey are exploring different ways lithium-ion cell chemistries and battery applications can be used to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of cars

Schematic of a Johnson Matthey Battery Systems designed battery in a Jaguar XJ-e development vehicle
Schematic of a Johnson Matthey Battery Systems designed battery in a Jaguar XJ-e development vehicle

Background

Batteries have been commonplace in cars for starting, lighting and ignition for almost a century. Today, the majority of batteries in cars are used solely for these purposes and are heavy lead-acid packs. With advances in lithium-ion and other battery chemistries, batteries are now being used in new ways in cars, from stop/start systems through to full battery electric drivetrains.

Exploring the scientific challenge

Scientists at Johnson Matthey Battery Technologies are exploring different ways lithium-ion cell chemistries and battery applications can be used to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of cars.

Lithium is a good choice for an automotive battery cell thanks to its large electrode potential, which results in high operating voltages, and its low density, which makes the cells lighter. However, the performance of today's battery chemistries relative to the battery weight is a limiting factor – there is a gap to close between today's technology and the requirements of future battery vehicles.

Johnson Matthey is innovating both in battery cell chemistry and battery pack design to overcome these technological hurdles. Our Battery Materials business is developing high performance battery materials, such as lithium-iron phosphate cathode materials, whilst our Battery Systems business is committed to providing cell chemistry-independent system designs that maximise performance for our customers' applications.

Find out more

Read more about the gaps between the capabilities and requirements of automotive battery technologies in Vol 59 Issue 1 of the Johnson Matthey Technology Review: 'Automotive Lithium-Ion Batteries'